Malta with a firm commitment to highlight the importance of maritime transport policy

Reference Number: PR170491, Press Release Issue Date: Feb 28, 2017

During the European Shipping Week being held in Brussels this week, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Joe Mizzi highlighted the fact that the year 2017 will be remembered not only for showcasing the EU maritime transport industry, but also for bringing to the fore the importance of the maritime sector and the added value that it brings to the European economy.

We are fortunate enough to have both the European Shipping Week, together with the European Commission’s intention to dedicate 2017 to the maritime sector, coincide perfectly with the Maltese Presidency”, Minister Mizzi stated at the opening of the first European Shipping Week workshop organised by the Permanent Representation of Malta and European Tug Owners Association.

Both as a Member State and as part of its the Presidency, Malta attaches great importance to the European Shipping Week. This week is an opportunity not only to celebrate the importance of the maritime industry, but to initiate a forward-looking process towards establishing the right environment to ensure the sustainability of the maritime sector in a globalised world which is ever-changing. The Minister emphasised that this can only be achieved through dialogue among all involved stakeholders, including EU institutions, industry and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). 

We must not forget that maritime transport is the catalyst for economic development; it has and will remain an important source for jobs, growth and income for the European economy. We all have the obligation to safeguard its sustainability,” Minister Mizzi said.

“Effective energy management is the key to ensure sustainability, which is achieved through a wide range of options such as the use of renewable and alternative energy sources, enhanced hull design, improved operational procedures and better use of digital technology to optimize performance,” he added.

The workshop touched upon two crucial elements: energy efficiency and digitalisation. The Presidency’s intention in organising such an event is to give maritime stakeholders the opportunity to build a better understanding of the measures that are already being implemented and which are pushing the maritime transport sector towards a cleaner future. This also reflects the feedback that will be taken into account during a Ministerial Stakeholder Conference that will be held in Malta on 28 and 29 March, which will bring to Malta many key industry executives and lead to the adoption of the Valletta Declaration which will outline future EU policy on maritime transport.

During an informal address at a networking event, Minister Mizzi reminded those present that Malta has covered one third of its mandate of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and is committed to continue promoting the importance of the maritime industry. The event was also attended by the Ambassador of Malta to Brussels, the Secretary General of the IMO, and many other industry stakeholders.

Photo: MTI